Leading nonprofit workforce development providers Eckerd Connects and Odle Management Group, LLC, have announced a merger that will make Eckerd Connects one of the nation’s largest companies in its field, helping to connect underserved youth and adults with employers across nearly 20 states.
Tennessee-based Oaklyn Consulting and Florida-based Capital Strategies Group provided investment banking services for the merger, which will enhance Eckerd Connects’ resources for educating and training more than 40,000 clients each year.
Odle will continue to operate under its current name but will be owned by Eckerd Connects. The two companies have a combined annual operating revenue of $329 million.
“Due to the surge in unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the services provided by Eckerd Connects and Odle are more vital than ever in helping to fight poverty and getting talented young people engaged in the workforce,” said Frank Williamson, CEO of Oaklyn Consulting. “We were honored to have assisted with this transaction, which will broaden Eckerd Connects’ base of operations and financially strengthen the company’s ability to pursue its mission of serving the greater good.”
Eckerd Connects is a national nonprofit organization that has provided workforce development, family and child services and juvenile justice services to more than 250,000 children, young adults and families since it was founded in 1968. Odle has managed the daily operations of Job Corps campuses in nine states — Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia — for more than 15 years, providing a range of residential, academic and career preparation services to nearly 15,000 underserved young adults. In addition, Odle helps to match its Job Corps graduates with employers both locally and regionally, and manages one-stop centers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas.
“During good times and bad, poverty is an inescapable reality. You can’t change the economy, but we believe that you can change how you respond to it. That’s why Eckerd Connects is focused on helping youth and adults find fulfilling, lasting employment that makes use of their skills and aptitudes,” said Randall W. Luecke, CFO of Eckerd Connects. “We’re grateful to Oaklyn Consulting and Capital Strategies Group for their work in helping us unite with Odle, which does remarkable work and we expect to be a great fit for our company.”
“All companies, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, need to continually strengthen financial and operating capabilities in order to accomplish their missions. I believe that is what we’ve accomplished with this merger between Eckerd Connects and Odle,” said David Simon of Capital Strategies Group. “We’re glad to have worked with Oaklyn Consulting in facilitating this business combination, which will equip this company for the future and, most importantly, bring brighter futures to underserved youth and adults throughout the U.S.”